A third-generation Xbox game console -- maybe named 720? -- is coming by next Thanksgiving, according to sources.
Reports from Xbox World suggest the new device will feature a mess of upgrades, including Kinect 2.0, a Blu-ray drive, a more sophisticated controller and an AV port for tuning and maybe recording TV shows through the Xbox Live Interface.
The timing of this "leak," shared first by Bloomberg News, is more than accidental, we think. Microsoft sold a good crop of bundled-up Xbox 360 game consoles -- about 750,000 -- over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday wheeling-dealing weekend. But shoppers who hesitated are probably weighing the other options out there -- including the new Nintendo Wii U and bigger screen 3DS systems and Sony's PlayStation 3 -- the latter also is likely to get upgraded next year. Spreading a little doubt in buyers minds, giving them reason to hesitate, is in the classic tradition of "vaporware" that Microsoft and other computer companies used to tout in the one-upsmanship age of the massive COMDEX shows.
More to the moment and real, Microsoft has been jockeying for attention recently by offering Xbox 360 customers a free preview of its Xbox Live Gold service -- including Xbox Video, Xbox Music, and enhanced content from Xbox SmartGlass.